Review Date 7/15/2015
Fellow beer enthusiasts, I give you…..Reformation Stark Porter Aged in Rum Barrels. Why “Stark” porter you ask? The beer has nothing to do with Tony of Iron Man fame or Sansa from Game of Thrones. Nor is the beer particularly strong (Stark is the German word for strong). Instead, Reformation describes this year-round staple offering as “A Stark Contrast to the Noise of Life.”
Stark Porter is also described as a “refreshed porter”, and it’s made with coconut (what refreshes better than that tropical delicacy?). I can tell you that a 32-ounce growler from Stout’s Growlers here in Canton certainly refreshed me. This is my first time trying this beer in fact, although I have enjoyed a cask conditioned version brewed with vanilla.
The brewery says of this beer:
Stark is a handcrafted Robust Porter. Black in color, moderate aroma of toasted coconut and roasted malts in the nose. Flavor is medium roast, hints of chocolate sweetness, and a mild sweet finish. Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation that focuses on creaminess over fizziness. The wonder of this beer is the coconut incorporated to accentuate the roasted malts. At 5.5% ABV, this is an everyday beer that begs you to share the moment a little longer. Best served at 45-50F.
Reformation really likes to produce variants on their Stark Porter, which has an alcohol content of 5.5% by volume. As you know, I'm reflecting on a barrel aged variant I enjoyed at Taco Mac. I've also enjoyed a cask conditioned vanilla version I got from Stout's Growlers, but you're far from correct if you think those are the only variations on a theme by reformation out there. There's a version aged in brandy barrels, a version aged in bourbon barrels, and if you're really lucky you'll come across the Augie edition which Taco Mac describes as "infused with bourbon, brandy, whiskey, and rum soaked oak and aged for up to four months". But wait. There's more. Visit the brewery Keeping Room and you might find a Cinnamon Dolce version and/or a Brown Sugar Bourbon Pecan edition.
For now, though, I'll tell you about Reformation Stark Porter Aged in Rum Barrels. My mug arrived a jet black color with almost no head and a big roasty nose with light rummy notes wafting up. Taking a sip, the beer is rich with roasty chocolate in the palate, licorice, light rum, and a massive roasty bitter finish. There's no coconut as one perceives in the straight version of this beer (perhaps masked by the luscious rum notes), but the beer seems bigger in body and roasty character. It ends on a boozy roasty note and makes you want another sip. And then another. And another.
I loved this beer and would highly recommend it to all that come across it. It seems very reasonable at $6.50 a full mug pour too.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.